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County Will Let Marijuana Offenders Off the Hook If They Get a Card After Arrest

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Anybody who will get arrested in Maricopa County on a easy marijuana possession cost can apply for a medical marijuana card to keep away from prosecution, in response to new guidelines by County Legal professional Allister Adel.

“In instances the place the defendant was not in compliance with the AMMA [Arizona Medical Marijuana Act] on the time of the crime solely as a result of the particular person did not have a sound medical marijuana card, MCAO will dismiss a cost involving any crime lined by the AMMA if the defendant obtains a medical marijuana card and gives proof by the IPTC,” the new rules say.

The IPTC is the preliminary pretrial convention listening to, which could possibly be scheduled as much as 45 days after an arrest — which leaves loads of time to get a medical card.

So long as the offense is inside the parameters of the 2010 legislation, the offender ought to be okay. That legislation permits sufferers to own as much as 2.5 ounces of hashish, together with any paraphernalia they’ve used to retailer or ingest their hashish. It additionally permits individuals who reside 25 miles from an working dispensary to develop as much as 12 crops of their dwelling.

In some instances, the prosecutor’s boss might should approve first: District county attorneys “ought to talk about whether or not dismissal is suitable with their supervisor when a defendant on this scenario obtains a medical marijuana card after the IPTC,” the foundations say.

Adel’s change is simply a part of a slate of latest insurance policies she introduced Monday which might be extra in tune with problems with prison justice reform and the higher remedy of marginalized communities. They meet Adel’s acknowledged aim of specializing in people’ wants and taking a “treatment-first” strategy to drug instances.

The insurance policies characterize a sea change from the earlier method of doing issues within the county underneath former County Legal professional Invoice Montgomery, now a state Supreme Court docket justice. Underneath the reign of Montgomery and his predecessors, low-level, first- and second-time marijuana offenders have been despatched to a drug remedy program known as TASC, the place they’d shell out 1000’s of {dollars} and undergo frequent urine exams. The county lawyer’s workplace would get a lower of the earnings.

It’s nearly as if Adel — a Republican in an more and more purple state, at the moment battling an skilled Democratic prosecutor in Julie Gunnigle — may be feeling a bit of nervous about her possibilities in November. Additionally notable: It’s looking likely that voters will legalize leisure marijuana use and possession in November, making Adel’s loosening of the foundations three months forward of Election Day significantly much less dangerous politically.

The efficient date of the brand new insurance policies was Friday.

Any quantity of marijuana and not using a state medical marijuana card remains to be a felony underneath state legislation.

Here’s the county attorney’s link to all of the changes.

If you happen to acquired arrested and are studying this, the truth is that the cardboard’s nonetheless going to set you again about $250 to $300. However the card protects in opposition to prosecution for a full two years. Take a look at Phoenix New Instances‘ April 17 article on how just about anyone can obtain a card.